For various uninteresting reasons, my husband and I had to file for an extension on our taxes this year – something we will try to avoid in the future because it just prolongs my misery. (Can you tell I’m more of a words person?) We finally filed our taxes this week, and to celebrate we went to lunch at our favorite place – Sunny Point Café.
Sunny Point is an Asheville staple. Locals and tourists eat at the restaurant. It’s not uncommon to wait for more than an hour for a table – and people wait, happily. The food is that good. The menu is what you would expect from a fancier restaurant minus the pretentious setting. There is a big garden out back full of vegetables, dogs are allowed in the restaurant, and the wait staff is an eclectic, happy group of people. It’s a great place to celebrate just about anything. I say all of this to underline that Sunny Point doesn’t have to do anything in our community to make people like them. It’s a beloved restaurant and locals take a lot of pride in bringing visiting family and friends there.
We placed our orders. My husband got his usual stuffed French toast, herb spuds, and side of bacon, while I tried a new order. Two small plates: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Empanada with avocado and cilantro crema, and a piece of Avocado Toast topped with arugula, tomato, over-easy egg, pickled onions, bacon, balsamic reduction and a side of grits. (The food order has nothing to do with the story – it’s just to further tempt you to visit the Red-Carpet Team in Asheville!) Once our orders were in, I went into dog-watch mode to see if there were any doggies nearby who needed petting. Instead, something else caught my eye – little plastic eggs decorated to look like chicks.
We soon found out that Sunny Point was celebrating 15 years of business and to say ‘thank you’ to the community, they were giving a gift to each person who ate there that day. Little slips of paper were inside each plastic chick – you open the chick and your prize was revealed. Prizes included:
- A free dinner
- A copy of the Sunny Point cookbook
- Jam or dressing to take home
- Sunny Point award-winning Bloody Mary mix
- A free baked good
- Seeds from their garden
- A voucher to skip to the front of the line for a year!
I won a chocolate chunk cookie and Tom got his absolute favorite – a jar of their jam. It was so much fun first opening our chicks and then calling over to other tables, “Hey! What did you get?” Everyone was smiling and giggling, and it had a festive almost holiday-like vibe.
As we were walking to our car, Tom said, “You know, Sunny Point doesn’t have to do anything to win goodwill. I doubt they even advertise anymore. But they gave us all a gift to say thank you, and that’s so nice.”
I agree. I later enjoyed my cookie with a cup of tea 🙂
A quick addendum to a previous post: Compassionate Customer Service at a Pilot Travel Center. I wrote in the article that my guilty pleasure when on the road is Sour Apple Blow Pops. Well, last week I opened my mailbox to find an entire box of Sour Apple Blow Pops! The good people at Pilot had sent them as a thank you for the article I wrote about the outstanding service their staff had given me. Again, they didn’t need to thank me further – I was already a big fan! – but they did. And that means the world to me.
As you are going about your day, think about what you can do for the people who are already fans of your business. How can you make them say, “Wow! I’ve always been a big fan, but now I really love them!”
Brandi Hand, Queen of Visibility, Red-Carpet Learning Systems
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